Sunrisers Hyderabad Secures TATA IPL 2024 Final Spot with Commanding Win Over Rajasthan Royals

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) booked their place in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 final with a robust 36-run victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 2 held at Chennai’s iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium. Displaying both resilience and a touch of flair, SRH set a target of 175 runs while their bowlers backed up the performance splendidly to seal the win.

Winning the toss and electing to field, RR hoped the decision would tilt the early advantage in their favor. SRH, however, were undeterred and maintained their aggressive batting stance which has been the hallmark of their 2024 campaign. Despite losing a few early wickets in the powerplay, the intent never waned. For RR, it was Trent Boult who initially disrupted the flow.

Boult made an immediate impact by dispatching Abhishek Sharma in the very first over. Sharma began with a six over mid-wicket and followed with a boundary, but Boult’s deft bowling induced a false shot from the left-hander, resulting in a catch in the off-side.

Travis Head and Rahul Tripathi then took center stage. While Head took his time to settle in, Tripathi was in a combative mood, regardless of the bowler at the other end. He began his assault on R Ashwin with a slightly edgy four through third-man during Ashwin’s second over. Tripathi continued to exploit Boult’s deliveries, hitting him for a boundary in the next over. Returning to face Ashwin, Tripathi capitalized on his opportunities, scoring two fours and a six in the fourth over, followed by another six and a four off Boult in the subsequent over. His brisk 37 off 15 balls provided SRH with a strong foundation despite falling to Boult’s slower delivery.

Boult wasn’t finished yet, sending Aiden Markram back shortly after Tripathi, caught by Yuzvendra Chahal at short third-man. After the fifth over, SRH found themselves at 57 for three. Head and Heinrich Klaasen then embarked on a rebuilding effort. Head found his first boundary in the sixth over off Sandeep Sharma, while Klaasen began to gain momentum, targeting Chahal for a six over mid-wicket in the eighth over.

As the innings progressed, a couple of quiet overs led to Head’s departure, caught guiding a Sandeep delivery to third-man.

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. Klaasen took command in the latter half, even as RR bowlers Avesh Khan and Trent Boult continued to pick wickets. Avesh struck twice in the 14th over, first dismissing Nitish Reddy via a reverse-sweep catch and then bowling Abdul Samad on the very next ball.

Klaasen rallied SRH’s innings, reaching his half-century off 33 balls in the 18th over, lifting the total from 120 for six to a more competitive 175 for nine. Shahbaz Ahmed, coming in as an Impact Player, contributed 18 valuable runs. SRH concluded at 175 for nine, with Sandeep and Avesh taking two and three wickets respectively, while Boult also managed three crucial breakthroughs.

In response, RR’s chase had a promising start with Yashaswi Jaiswal looking in sublime touch, hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six in the opening over. Despite a cautious first few overs, RR lost their first wicket to Pat Cummins when Tom Kohler-Cadmore was dismissed. Jaiswal then went on the offensive, striking three fours and a six off Bhuvneshwar in the sixth over, guiding RR to 51 for one in the powerplay.

However, the middle overs saw SRH’s spinners tighten their grip on the match. Shahbaz Ahmed broke the momentum by claiming Jaiswal’s (42 off 21 balls) wicket in the eighth over, caught deep in the field. Sanju Samson, too, fell shortly after, lofted a ball to deep mid-wicket into Aiden Markram’s hands.

SRH’s spin duo, Shahbaz, and Abhishek Sharma, maintained relentless pressure, a double-wicket over from Shahbaz in the 12th over further hampered RR. Riyan Parag was caught at mid-wicket, and Ashwin edged a catch to the wicketkeeper. By the 12th over, RR was struggling at 80 for five.

Although Shimron Hetmyer, brought in as an Impact Player, and Rovman Powell tried to steady the ship, they were effectively restrained by SRH’s disciplined bowling attack. Dhruv Jurel was the lone RR batter to show resistance, reaching his fifty off 26 balls in the penultimate over. Despite his valiant effort, SRH were well and truly on course for a victory, and the match concluded with SRH securing a 36-run win.

Shahbaz and Abhishek, the two left-arm spinners, were instrumental, claiming five wickets between them and conceding just 47 runs in their combined eight overs. This exceptional bowling performance ensured SRH set up a rematch of Qualifier 1 as they now prepare to face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the grand finale scheduled for Sunday in Chennai.

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